Usability Bootcamp
Driving Enrollment Results with
User-Centered Design
Val Fox
Bentley University | Office of Digital Eng...
By 3:45, you will learn to:
• Apply focus groups, usability testing, online
surveys, personas and Google Analytics to
deve...
By 3:45, you will learn to:
• Run focus groups and usability testing, launch
online surveys, develop personas and apply
Go...
By 3:45, you will learn to:
• Run focus groups and usability testing, launch
online surveys, develop personas and apply
Go...
Business school in Waltham, MA
• 4,000+ undergraduate students; 1,400 graduate students
• 20 undergraduate majors; 10 mast...
“It doesn’t matter what I
think about your website”
User-centered design begins with
understanding your users
Photo source: webcoursesbangkok.com
Make it easy to
find academi...
Making a case for users begins
with NOT talking about users.
Admissions doesn’t care about “users”
So we offered them what they DO want:
• More info session and tour attendees
• More ...
Wake Up Call
Mobile traffic was doubling every
8-10 months
Source: Google Analytics
Wake Up Call
20% of prospective students said
they would remove a school from
consideration because of a poor
web experien...
Wake Up Call
70% of prospective students said a
school’s web site affects their
perception of the institution
Source: Noel...
Admissions
We need a mobile
site by Fall!
We can learn Drupal 7
This is one of our top
priorities
Admissions
Design a new site!
Traditional Development
Requirements
Design
Development
QA
Launch
User-Centered Development
Analysis
Design
Development
QA
Launch
Prototype
Test
Requirements
But won’t all this take longer?!
100x more expensive to make
site changes POST launch
Nielson Norman Group
User-Centered Development Cycle
Analysis
Design
Development
QA
Launch
Prototype
Test
Requirements
Focus Groups
Online Surv...
Focus Groups
Photo source: cartoonstock.com
Focus Groups
Best for: Sourcing qualitative feedback
Who: • Prospective undergraduate students
• Parents (undergraduate)
•...
Focus Groups
Set up: 1 hr sessions at our research lab
Groups of 5-6 students/parents
Paid $50 each + pizza
Facilitator an...
Online Surveys
Online Surveys
Best for: Quantitative feedback
• Purpose of site visit
• Able to complete purpose of visit
• Why (or why n...
Online Surveys
Tool: iPerceptions “Plus” account
• Data export
• Unlimited data collection
• Device-specific
• Adjustable ...
Online Surveys
Standard
Questions:
Rate your overall site experience (1-10)
Primary purpose of visit (multi-choice)
Were y...
Online Surveys
Output: Summary shared via PPT doc
Key
Learnings:
Qualified visitors are most
demanding
Content = meat + po...
Personas
Source: Forrester Research
Agency: Primacy
Personas
Defined as: Hypothetical user developed through interviews &
observations of real users
Use for: Create a common ...
Example Scenario
Persona Prospective graduate student
Goal: Find a part-time MBA program in Boston area
Scenario: • Search...
Personas
Source: Forrester Research
Agency: Primacy
Photos of Kelly’s items give a feeling for her lifestyle
Infographics ...
Google Analytics
Best
for:
Cost:
Revealing behavior – NOT
intent
Comprehensive site analytics
AND ad-hoc reporting
Free!
Site Performance Measurement
Pre-launch: Tracking out-of-the-box stats:
• Site visits & visitors
• Pageviews
• Pages/visit...
Site Performance Measurement
Post-launch: Set up Admission profiles w/dashboards
Tracking KPIs & delivering automated repo...
User-Centered Development Cycle
Analysis
Design
Development
QA
Launch
Prototype
Test
Requirements
Focus Groups
Online Surv...
User-Centered Development Cycle
Analysis
Design
Development
QA
Launch
Prototype
Test
Requirements
User Testing
Usability Testing
Best for: Finding specific problems (prototype or live site)
Who: 8-10 students for each Admission site
...
Usability Testing
Tasks
Tested:
Site navigation (find a major or program)
Sign up for a tour
Find application deadlines
Fi...
Launch of BOTH sites
Nov-Dec 2012
bentley.edu/undergraduate
bentley.edu/graduate
Results
Year-over-Year: Online leads
Undergrad: 6% increase
Grad: 11% increase
Sign up for tours & info sessions
Undergrad...
Stay in touch
• Twitter:@ValerieFox
• www.slideshare.net/FoxAtBentley
• www.bentley.edu/DE
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Driving Enrollment Results with User-Centered Design at Bentley University

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Bentley University's Undergraduate and Graduate Admission offices didn't just want new web sites, they wanted increased enrollment. So when it came time to build new admission sites, we implemented a user-centered design model that resulted in increased traffic and increased leads for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

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Driving Enrollment Results with User-Centered Design at Bentley University

  1. 1. Usability Bootcamp Driving Enrollment Results with User-Centered Design Val Fox Bentley University | Office of Digital Engagement eduWeb Conference Social: #higheredusability #eduwebconf13 @valeriefox
  2. 2. By 3:45, you will learn to: • Apply focus groups, usability testing, online surveys, personas and Google Analytics to develop user insights
  3. 3. By 3:45, you will learn to: • Run focus groups and usability testing, launch online surveys, develop personas and apply Google Analytics to develop user insights • Increase online conversion by an average of 25-30%
  4. 4. By 3:45, you will learn to: • Run focus groups and usability testing, launch online surveys, develop personas and apply Google Analytics to develop user insights • Increase online conversion by an average of 25-30% • DIY for ~ $3,000
  5. 5. Business school in Waltham, MA • 4,000+ undergraduate students; 1,400 graduate students • 20 undergraduate majors; 10 masters programs Digital Engagement Office • 7-person team • Supports ~80 sites Infrastructure • Managed cloud hosting by Acquia • Powered by Drupal CMS
  6. 6. “It doesn’t matter what I think about your website”
  7. 7. User-centered design begins with understanding your users Photo source: webcoursesbangkok.com Make it easy to find academic program info I use my mobile device for all my web browsing Design for me NOT you! Your website will affect what I think of your school You can text me relevant info Source: 2013 E-Expectations Report
  8. 8. Making a case for users begins with NOT talking about users.
  9. 9. Admissions doesn’t care about “users” So we offered them what they DO want: • More info session and tour attendees • More “request info” leads • More applicants
  10. 10. Wake Up Call Mobile traffic was doubling every 8-10 months Source: Google Analytics
  11. 11. Wake Up Call 20% of prospective students said they would remove a school from consideration because of a poor web experience Source: Noel Levitz 2011 E-Expectations Report
  12. 12. Wake Up Call 70% of prospective students said a school’s web site affects their perception of the institution Source: Noel Levitz 2013 E-Expectations Report
  13. 13. Admissions We need a mobile site by Fall! We can learn Drupal 7 This is one of our top priorities
  14. 14. Admissions Design a new site!
  15. 15. Traditional Development Requirements Design Development QA Launch
  16. 16. User-Centered Development Analysis Design Development QA Launch Prototype Test Requirements
  17. 17. But won’t all this take longer?! 100x more expensive to make site changes POST launch Nielson Norman Group
  18. 18. User-Centered Development Cycle Analysis Design Development QA Launch Prototype Test Requirements Focus Groups Online Surveys Personas Analytics
  19. 19. Focus Groups Photo source: cartoonstock.com
  20. 20. Focus Groups Best for: Sourcing qualitative feedback Who: • Prospective undergraduate students • Parents (undergraduate) • Prospective graduate students Source: • Undergraduate Tours • Graduate Open House Goal: Gain an understanding of • General web usage • College research process • Priority online content • Influencers Photo source: tamarabustos.com
  21. 21. Focus Groups Set up: 1 hr sessions at our research lab Groups of 5-6 students/parents Paid $50 each + pizza Facilitator and note taker Cost: $2,500 Time: 4 weeks Output: Summary of findings > shared w/team Bring personas to life: “Don’t tweet me after I apply, that’s just weird!” “My mom loves helping me with the research process, it’s her way of ‘bonding’ with me.” Center for Marketing Technology Bentley University
  22. 22. Online Surveys
  23. 23. Online Surveys Best for: Quantitative feedback • Purpose of site visit • Able to complete purpose of visit • Why (or why not) Who: 500+ site visitors to our Admissions sites
  24. 24. Online Surveys Tool: iPerceptions “Plus” account • Data export • Unlimited data collection • Device-specific • Adjustable invitation rate • Multi-language Cost: $20/mo Approach: 4 standard + optional questions
  25. 25. Online Surveys Standard Questions: Rate your overall site experience (1-10) Primary purpose of visit (multi-choice) Were you able to complete purpose of your visit (yes/no) • If yes > what did you value most • If no > why not How likely are you to recommend Optional Questions: Visit frequency Source (how you arrived at site) Demographics
  26. 26. Online Surveys Output: Summary shared via PPT doc Key Learnings: Qualified visitors are most demanding Content = meat + potatoes “Information too vague” “Couldn’t find average SAT scores” “I want detailed information on the grad program curriculum” Photo source: chefmom.sheknows.com
  27. 27. Personas Source: Forrester Research Agency: Primacy
  28. 28. Personas Defined as: Hypothetical user developed through interviews & observations of real users Use for: Create a common understanding of target audience Must: • Sound like a real person • Include compelling narrative • Call out key attributes & high level goals • Enable design decisions • Include scenarios
  29. 29. Example Scenario Persona Prospective graduate student Goal: Find a part-time MBA program in Boston area Scenario: • Searches for “Boston MBA programs” • Reaches Bentley.edu > Academics > Graduate Programs • Sees MBA programs but labels aren’t clear • Visits each program page to learn more but gets frustrated with time spent
  30. 30. Personas Source: Forrester Research Agency: Primacy Photos of Kelly’s items give a feeling for her lifestyle Infographics convey Kelly’s device usage & tech proficiency
  31. 31. Google Analytics Best for: Cost: Revealing behavior – NOT intent Comprehensive site analytics AND ad-hoc reporting Free!
  32. 32. Site Performance Measurement Pre-launch: Tracking out-of-the-box stats: • Site visits & visitors • Pageviews • Pages/visit • Bounce rate • Top pages • Traffic by source Results: No actionable insights No ownership
  33. 33. Site Performance Measurement Post-launch: Set up Admission profiles w/dashboards Tracking KPIs & delivering automated reports: • Conversion rates by form • Conversion rates by source • Cost per visit (search keywords) Results Regular review w/stakeholders Ownership & accountability
  34. 34. User-Centered Development Cycle Analysis Design Development QA Launch Prototype Test Requirements Focus Groups Online Surveys Personas Analytics Design team Stakeholders
  35. 35. User-Centered Development Cycle Analysis Design Development QA Launch Prototype Test Requirements
  36. 36. User Testing
  37. 37. Usability Testing Best for: Finding specific problems (prototype or live site) Who: 8-10 students for each Admission site Set-up: Facilitator + note-taker Camtasia Studio (screen capture) Cost: $99/license – Camtasia $15 gift card - tester
  38. 38. Usability Testing Tasks Tested: Site navigation (find a major or program) Sign up for a tour Find application deadlines Find link to apply Find info for accepted students Output: Summary of findings Design modifications before handoff to dev Total cost: $400
  39. 39. Launch of BOTH sites Nov-Dec 2012 bentley.edu/undergraduate bentley.edu/graduate
  40. 40. Results Year-over-Year: Online leads Undergrad: 6% increase Grad: 11% increase Sign up for tours & info sessions Undergrad: 17% increase Click-thru to Common App Undergrad: 39% increase Total cost: $3,200
  41. 41. Stay in touch • Twitter:@ValerieFox • www.slideshare.net/FoxAtBentley • www.bentley.edu/DE

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